now known as 'Franklin'
Pandora and Franklin
greet one another
Franklin and Pandora
Franklin feels safe
playing with Pandora
A sunny day on the patio at Franklin's new home
Franklin (formerly 'Buddy') was the first dog I fostered, and he was with me for about a month. From the time he came home with me, I used Amichien® Bonding to help him get ready to go to a "forever home". He made tangible progress daily. I wrote a brief story about our time together, which has now been published in the book, "Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Stories" by Carol LaChapelle. Here is Franklin's story:
“Buddy” was a dog I first encountered at the animal shelter where I regularly volunteer. He had only been there a couple of days, and before that, he’d been fending for himself on the streets. I can only imagine how terrifying it was to be brought there and kept in a cage for 23½ hours a day. The first time I saw him I noticed a warning note on the cage, telling people how frightened he was, and so how it might be difficult to get him in and out of the kennel. Far from being a deterrent, this made me want to work with him all the more.
I opened the cage and without making any eye contact, waited for Buddy to come to me. Before long, he did, head lowered, and tail tucked. I reached underneath his chin to let him acquaint himself with my hand, then clipped the leash onto his collar.
Once we got outside, he tended to walk several steps ahead of me. He didn’t pull on the lead, as so many troubled dogs do, but walked just out of reach. Each time he got out in front, I silently stopped and stood my ground, and he immediately returned to my side.
While the shelter was being renovated, foster “parents” were needed to house all the dogs, and without hesitation, I requested Buddy. When he arrived at my house, I let him check the place out, and he promptly found my own dog’s bed and made himself at home. Although he got along fine with my Golden Retriever, Pandora, Buddy didn’t want to play with her in the first days.
It quickly became apparent that Buddy had been abused in his former life; this explained why he wisely kept out of reach of human hands while on lead. There were times when he thought he was “in trouble” with me and would crouch, then roll on his side in submission, awaiting punishment. I cannot imagine what kind of person had abused such a wonderful, affectionate creature, and then put him out on the street.
I kept a record of the progress Buddy made each day he spent in my home. When he first arrived, he wanted to follow me everywhere and became extremely distressed every time I left the house. But within a few weeks, he accepted my departures with only a few barks to let me know his displeasure. I can’t take all the credit for Buddy’s recovery: With her antics, Pandora was able to persuade Buddy to play with her in just four days’ time. I had never been able to entice him to play at the shelter. After a few weeks in my home, he even began retrieving a ball for me, although I suspect he did it more to make me happy than out of any love for the game.
In the end, a lovely couple adopted Buddy. They prepared their home for his arrival and kept in touch with me about how to resolve behavior issues, and to let me know how he was progressing. They gave him a new name along with a fresh start, and brought him out for occasional play dates with Pandora and me. When I see him now, I see not only a dog who is fit, healthy, and well-loved, but one who no longer fears human strangers or ducks at the sight of a raised hand. This is what this dog has deserved all along.
Epilogue: Franklin spent three wonderful years with his forever family, enjoying walks in the city, the best food available, visits with friends and family, lying in the sun on the patio, and simply being loved and adored by his guardians. Dogs can be very forgiving, and Franklin learned that there was no longer a need to fear the people he encountered.
Sadly, Franklin began having grand mal seizures, and over time, developed a resistance to the medication that controlled them. He spent many nights in the E.R., and although his family did everything in their power to help him, he lost his struggle with epilepsy on October 1, 2008. Although his family misses him, they also cherish and appreciate the brief time they had together.
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